Trees will tell the story

Glenys Christian – Dairy farmers don’t want to let their environmental story get ahead of the reality, Kaipara Council mayor and former Fonterra deputy chairman, Greg Gent, warns. “But farmers have always had a level of environmental understanding,” he said. “There’s good science available and now they’re reacting to that.” He joined about 25 lower Northland farmers and Maungatoroto locals …

Under the guidance of FarmIQ

Knowledge transfer on farms can now be facilitated through the use of technology for daily tasks as well as documenting important farm history. Sheryl Brown visited the Flavalls at Tokoroa on a snowy day in July to hear how they are using FarmIQ as a key part of their operation. Technology is making it easier for beginners in the dairy …

Healthy Rivers, Healthy Profit?

Steven Howarth The Healthy Rivers Plan for Change is creating a lot of interest throughout the Waikato with farmers coming to grips with what it could mean for them. For some of the rules such as restrictions on land use change and grazing/cultivation setbacks we can see how they will affect a property and what changes are needed to comply. …

Contracting with an upside

Contract milking has been a great move for Matt and Amelia Weatherhead but they warn it’s not something you should rush into. “You’ve got to do a lot of homework before you sign a contract – get good advice,” Matt says. “And make sure you’ve got financial skills to do cashflows so you really understand what your financial situation’s going …

Job ad that really worked

Four years ago Ben Haley put a note up on a Timaru supermarket notice board looking for work as hours at his builder’s labourer job wound down. Large scale sharemilker John O’Connell saw the advert on his way to squash one evening and decided to give the then 20-year-old a go. It turned out to be a great decision for …

Dairy apprenticeships ‘ready to go’

An apprenticeship scheme for the dairy sector was “ready to go”, when Federated Farmers Dairy delegates were given a progress report in June. Federated Farmers and the Primary Industry Training Organisation had made the case for funding to the Sector Workforce Engagement Programme. All going well, registrations of interest from dairy farmers are expected to open this month and for …

Battle for TeenAg and Young Farmer titles

Jackie Harrigan Despite the dull and cold weather in Feilding on Friday, competition was running hot at the practical and Agrisports day of the Young Farmer Grand Final at Manfield. The TeenAg and Agrikids finalist from around the country competed through very cold winds – and Agrikids finalists had to bob for apples and then drink a bottle of cold …

Low-N cows give higher protein concentration

Sheryl Brown Milk from cows with lower milk urea nitrogen concentration (MUN) contains a higher proportion of milk protein. It appears up to 25% of the nitrogen being diverted away from milk urea is going into milk protein, CRV Ambreed research and development manager Phil Beatson says. Each litre of milk from low-MUN cows contains less nitrogen in milk urea …

Tracking the budget worm

By being accountable to their budgeting practice, Clarence and Elise Stolte have managed to drive their cost of production down and regularly monitor variances against it using a graphic ‘budgeting worm’. Jackie Harrigan reports. They say a good marriage is not marrying the right person but being the right partner – but it seems Clarence Stolte found absolutely the right …

Diversification: Hop to it

Anne Hardie Cameron Ealam’s family has farmed near Nelson since 1856 and have been planning how to continue the business for the next couple of centuries, so they’ve diversified their dairy farm by planting hops. This year they began spraying out a chunk of their Spring Grove dairy farm to dig in rows of 5.2-metre poles for their hop crop …